Jorge Lorenzo gallant ride from 17th on the grid to sixth came as a shock even to the man himself, who said his main aim was just to finish.
Lorenzo has suffered some huge crashes of late, and has received criticism for his inability to keep the Yamaha M1 on the island.
But Lorenzo was back to his brilliant self this weekend, making up 11 places on race day and lapping fast enough to have been in contention for a podium finish.
The Spaniard said: “I’m very happy with this result, because this was a very hard weekend for me and my crew.
“The number one aim was to finish the race without crashing or hurting myself, because at the end of the day you health is the most important thing!
“After the start however I started to feel more and more confident an found I was able to ride better and better, then I realized that I actually had the chance to do a very good race.
“Sometimes lately it has been hard to stay optimistic, motivated and happy, even though I have always tried to go out smiling and with a good attitude, but this race today was great and I am very happy tonight.”